Our body consists of many electrolytes in order to help maintain the body’s normal cellular functioning. These electrolytes are very vital in our system that even a certain imbalance could already cause serious damage into our health. These electrolytes are naturally found in our blood, but the type of food and as well as our activities and lifestyle could also very much affect the level of these electrolytes in our body. One of the most common and rather major electrolytes in our body is none other than potassium. However, despite the importance of this particular electrolyte, many of us still question the role of potassium and as well as the potassium normal range. For us to know the answers to these questions; here are some of the potassium facts that we need to understand.
The importance of obtaining your potassium level
Obtaining the potassium level in our body is one of the most common things that physicians prescribe or order in acknowledging such imbalance of electrolyte in the body. This test is usually included in the blood chemistry diagnostics along with the other electrolyte levels in our system. This enables us to tell whether our blood potassium is too low (hypokalemia) or too high (hyperkalemia). So what is the normal count of potassium in the blood? Potassium is considered normal if it is in the range 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L. Any reading that falls outside the said range is already considered to be abnormal.
In case potassium is too high, hyperkalemia is concluded, which is a common result of kidney diseases.
Hypokalemia on the other hand can occur due to certain condition such as diarrhea, vomiting and diaphoresis or over sweating. Another common cause of low potassium level in the blood is due to having a low dietary intake of this important electrolyte, and a potassium supplement may be required.
The importance of potassium
Potassium is a very important component in our body. This electrolyte basically helps in the contraction of the muscles including one of our major organs, the heart. This is the reason why monitoring the electrolyte is very common among patients suffering from acute or chronic kidney failure, which reflect primarily on the potassium level. Other indications of hyperkalemia includes Addison’s disease, hypoaldosteronism, tissue injuries, diabetes, dehydration, infection and as well as excessive intravenous potassium intake. Hypokalemia on the other hand suggests diarrhea, dehydration, hyperaldosteronism and low potassium intake.
These are just some of the things that we need to know about the electrolyte potassium. Now we are aware of why maintaining the level of potassium in between the normal range is considered to be very important. It is a must that proper diet must be taken as well as immediate intervention and management is done once abnormal level in our blood potassium is discovered from our blood chemistry.